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Updated 05/31/2013

 

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross



Fanny Crosby

"Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross" was written by Fanny Cros­by (see Close to Thee for biography) , prob­ab­ly the most pro­lif­ic hymn­ist in his­to­ry. Though blind­ed by an in­com­pe­tent doc­tor at six weeks of age, she wrote over 8,000 hymns. About her blind­ness, she said:

It seemed in­tend­ed by the bless­ed prov­i­dence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dis­pen­sa­tion. If per­fect earth­ly sight were of­fered me to­mor­row I would not ac­cept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been dis­tract­ed by the beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing things about me.

In her life­time, Fan­ny Cros­by was one of the best known wo­men in the Unit­ed States. To this day, the vast ma­jor­i­ty of Amer­i­can hymn­als con­tain her work.

 When Fan­ny died, her tomb­stone car­ried the words, “Aunt Fan­ny” and “Bless­ed as­sur­ance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a fore­taste of glo­ry di­vine.”

The tune is by William Howard Doane (1832-1915) (see I Am Tine, O Lord for a biography) who collaborated with Fanny Crosby on numerous hymns.


Lyrics by Fanny Crosby

 

Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain
Free to all, a healing stream
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.

Refrain
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.

Refrain

Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.

Refrain

Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.

Refrain